Amelia Island

9 March 2013

Lot 126

1927 Lincoln Model L Seven-Passenger Berline

To be auctioned on Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sold for $46,200

  • Chassis no. 41804
  • Engine no. 41804

90 bhp, 357.8 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with full floating rear and semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 136 in.

  • From the collection of Ken Pearson
  • 35,900 original miles
  • Three owners since new
  • Known, comprehensively documented history

A Lincoln limousine befit a stately man of wealth and good bearing, which described Robert H. McElroy, a partner and vice-president in John D. Rockefeller’s immense profitable Standard Oil Company. McElroy’s Model L seven-passenger berline, a factory-bodied example of what he took delivery in 1927, came equipped with all the luxuries of a good life. The rear seat was appointed as nicely as a living room sofa, with all surrounding windows equipped with window shades drawn by silk rope pulls. Commands to the chauffeur were issued through an intercom system, state-of-the-art in the late-1920s.

McElroy used his Lincoln around his Chicago-area residence until his passing in 1938. It was stored on blocks for over 20 years, until passing to Robert Wernle, from whom Ken Pearson acquired it in November 1961. Mr. Pearson then carefully dismantled the 20,000-mile original car and spent over a year restoring it to factory-correct condition. In 1962, it proved its worth on the show field and open road, completing the Glidden Tour and earning its AACA Senior First Prize. It again completed the Glidden Tour in 1964, and after several more treks, it was quietly put away, to be well-maintained but seldom used in coming years, as other projects took away Mr. Pearson’s time. It came out of hiding briefly in 1990, to appear in Beverly Rae Kimes’s The Classic Car.

Typical of Mr. Pearson’s tender loving care, this incredible Lincoln’s now 50-year-old restoration looks only five years old, and the doors still close, as they say, like bank vaults. Recently fully serviced, it is accompanied by an archival collection that can only be described as unprecedented, including thorough documentation of the car’s history and restoration, correspondence with Standard Oil regarding Mr. McElroy, hand-written maps recording journeys taken in the Lincoln, records of the shows it attended, and the trophies with which it returned home. This is an utterly fascinating car, owned since new by fascinating people who loved it.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

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Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

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Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

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California, United States

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more